We cannot co-exist with beauty, without facing the instinct to consume it. That's what Caitlin Neufeld says in her article "Buying into Beauty" (Geez, Summer 2007). Our consumer attitude, she asserts, runs the gamut from wanting to share a sunset, to wanting to write a story, to wanting to take a picture. Sex and picking a flower were also included in the list.
I pondered her thoughts and wondered what beauty really means. Isn't it by nature something that stirs up desire in us? Without that desire, would we really be talking about beauty?
In the end, I couldn't help but wonder where the fine line is between consumption and celebration, exploitation and appreciation. It seemed that for Neufeld there was no line at all. To want to preserve something by taking it home in any form, even as an inspiring memory was problematic. And so I left her article with a haunting sense that, indeed, I might be judged for consuming beauty.
Beautiful Skyscape at Secret Spot photo, by L.L. Barkat.
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